The Transformation of the Toyota Sprinter
First Generation (1968 – 1970)
The first generation TOYOTA SPRINTER was released in May 1968 as the sister vehicle to TOYOTA COROLLA. To respond to increasingly varied needs, in comparison to the Corolla that it was based on, the Sprinter utilized a fastback coupe style body for a sportier look. Moreover, another differentiating feature was the rear combination lamps that extended out to the sides. Due to this body style, aerodynamic performance was enhanced, and the maximum speed was 160km/hr, 5km/hr more than the Corolla. The body size measured in length, width, and height at 3,845mm, 1,430mm, and 1,380mm respectively; the total height was 35mm less than that of the Corolla. For the grade lineup, the standard, deluxe, and SL were made available.
The 1,077cc gasoline engine with 60 horsepower was made available.
The transmissions that could be combined with this were the 4-speed floor-mounted shifter, manual column-mounted shifter, and semi-automatic Toyoglide.
In September 1969, the engine displacement was increased, and the 1,166cc gasoline engine with 68 horsepower was added.
Second Generation (1970 – 1974)
In May 1970, the Sprinter underwent a full model change to the second generation model. At this time, the model name was changed from the “Corolla Sprinter” to just “Sprinter.” For the exterior, the triangular windows were discontinued, and clean window graphics were realized. Moreover, the design of the first generation model that emphasized a flowing fastback style was carried over. As for the rear combination lamps, a large-sized three-parted design was used, leading to a more powerful impression.
In terms of the interior as well, an instrument panel using rosewood decoration was utilized, making for a design that exuded luxuriousness. Furthermore, all vehicles were installed with a console box as standard equipment.
The 1,166cc engine was carried, but according to the grade, it had a power output of 73 or 77 horsepower. As such, maximum speed was 155km/hr for the 73-horsepower engine and 160km/hr for the 77-horsepower engine.
To these engines, the floor-mounted or column-mounted manual transmission and Toyoglide automatic were combined.
In September 1970, the 1.4L coupe with an increased displacement was added. This engine had a displacement of 1,407cc and boasted a power output of 86 horsepower. The next year, a twin cab was installed on this engine, improving maximum power output to 95 horsepower. Moreover, for the transmission as well, the 5-speed manual was added to the lineup to be combined with certain grades.
In August 1971, for the body type, in addition to the coupe, the sedan was newly added.
Later, in 1973, the 2T-G engine was added to the lineup, which had a displacement of 1,600cc and power output of 105 horsepower.
Third Generation (1974 – 1979)
In April 1974, the third generation model went on sale. This model was developed with the aim to adhere to gas emission regulations and improvements in safety and riding comfort. Though the chassis was the same as that of the Sedan and Corolla, for the coupe, a specially designed chassis was utilized. Compared to the previous generation model, the total height was reduced by 25mm, and the total width was increased by 65mm, thus achieving a low and wide design and a sportier air. As for the coupe, a full fastback design that used a long nose was employed. For this coupe, the total height was reduced and the total length and width were increased, leading to a design that improved safety. Moreover, by employing a pushed-in design for the headlights, it was differentiated from the other models.
The same engine lineup was carried over from the second generation model.
The 3-speed automatic transmission was added to the lineup.
Due to these changes, the vehicle type lineup consisted of 8 types for the 4-door sedan and 8 types for the 2-door coupe, including the Trueno. The basic grade structure for the 4-door sedan was the DX, XL, and ST.
In January 1976, the liftback was added, and in January 1977, the hardtop was added.
In May 1978, minor changes were implemented and alterations were made to the exterior design.
Fourth Generation (1979 – 1987)
In March 1979, another full model change led to the release of the fourth generation model. This model was developed with the aim to improve riding comfort and enhance fuel economy. For the exterior, the design was changed to one that emphasized sharpness and straight lines. In terms of the interior, the area of glass was enlarged, leading to improvements in visibility. Furthermore, the quality of the instrument panel was heightened, and the air conditioning system was also improved. The body type lineup consisted of four options: 4-door sedan, hardtop, coupe, and liftback. By changing the design of the front and rear, it was differentiated from the Corolla.
The engine lineup consisted of the following gasoline engines – 1,290cc with 72 horsepower, 1,452cc with 80 horsepower, and 1,588cc with 115 horsepower.
The transmission options that could be combined with these were the 4-speed or 5-speed manual, or the 2-speed automatic. Later, the automatic option was expanded to 3-speed and 4-speed as well.
In August, the 1,800cc gasoline engine was added to the lineup.
In August 1981, minor changes were made, and the sedan’s front headlights were changed to double rectangular headlamps.
In February 1982, the 1,839cc diesel engine with 65 horsepower was added.
Fifth Generation (1983 – 1987)
In May 1983, a full model change was implemented, and models excluding the Trueno series saw alterations in drive systems to the FF. Due to this, the interior space was enlarged. As for the design, non-standard double headlights and a slanted nose were installed, and a resin bumper integrated with the body was utilized, increasing quality and texture. Moreover, door mirrors were also installed. By changing to the FF system, the interior space was enlarged, now measuring in length, width, and height at 1,810mm, 1,380mm, and 1,160mm respectively. For the Corolla series, by making the window graphics a 6 light, it was differentiated from other models.
The engine lineup consisted of the 1,295cc gasoline engine with 75 horsepower, 1,452cc gasoline engine with 83 horsepower, 1,587cc gasoline engine with 100 horsepower, and 1,839cc diesel engine with 65 horsepower.
For the transmission, a distinctive characteristic of this model was that the 1,587cc gasoline engine with 100 horsepower was combined with the electric 4-speed automatic transmission.
In January 1984, the electric 4-speed automatic transmission was made available for more grades. In October of the same year, the 1,587cc engine with 130 horsepower was made available for the sedan.
Sixth Generation (1987 – 1991)
In May 1987, the Sprinter underwent another full model change to its sixth generation model. The theme of this model was “A High-Quality Global Sedan that Goes Above and Beyond Its Class,” and it was developed with the aim to greatly improve the quality of the interior and exterior. For the outer design, a distinctive feature was the use of such parts as colored bumpers and door mirrors. For the interior as well, full trimming was installed comprehensively, and the seat cover material was changed, leading to greater luxuriousness. The body size was enlarged, measuring in length, width, and height at 4,195mm, 1,655m, and 1,360mm respectively. For the body type, in addition to the Trueno and Sedan, the 5-door Cielo was made available, with the aim to enrich the lineup. As for the Sedan, the use of a blacked out pillar led to a hardtop-like design. Moreover, for the Cielo, due to the use of a large-sized three-parted rear spoiler and horizontal rear combination lamps, the design was more specialized.
The engine lineup was also renewed; for all gasoline engine vehicles, a multi-valve engine was installed. As such, the following gasoline engines were made available:
1,295cc 73 horsepower
1,498cc 85 horsepower
1,498cc 94 horsepower
1,587cc 120 horsepower
1,587cc 145 horsepower
And the following diesel engine was made available:
1,839cc 64 horsepower
In October 1987, the 4WD was added as a new drive system option.
In May 1989, minor alternations were implemented, and changes such as the enlarging of the front bumper were made. Furthermore, the grade lineup was reevaluated, and the “Lise,” which was marketed toward women, was discontinued.
In September 1989, for the Sedan, a 4WD with a 1,839cc/64 horsepower diesel engine was added to the lineup.
Seventh Generation (1991 – 2002)
In June 1991, the Sprinter underwent another full model change. The body size measured in length, width, and height at 4,270mm, 1,685mm, and 1,375mm respectively, and the wheelbase was also enlarged to 2,465mm; thus, the exterior employed a “one motion form” design that exuded a vibrant atmosphere. Moreover, by utilizing press doors, the form emphasized flowing curved surfaces, further heightening the air of high-quality.
The engine lineup consisted of the 1,331cc with 100 horsepower, 1,498cc with 105 horsepower, and 1,587cc with 115 horsepower for the high-mecha twin cam gasoline engine, a sports twin cam 20-valve gasoline engine with 160 horsepower, and a 1,974cc diesel engine with 73 horsepower.
The transmissions that could be combined with these were the 5-speed manual, 3-speed automatic, and 4-speed automatic.
In May 1993, minor changes were implemented and alterations were made to the interior and exterior, as well as improvements to the engine.
In May 1995, the Sedan series led the full model change to the eight generation model.
Eighth Generation (1995 – 2000)
In May 1995, the eight generation Sedan was born. For this model change, the chassis and structures of the seventh generation model were carried over; however, the weight was reduced by 70kg, the engine was improved for enhanced fuel economy, and a bumper that was made with recycled materials was installed, demonstrating a mind for environmental friendliness. The exterior was according to the Keep Concept design, and the interior emphasized horizontal lines and openness, further improving riding comfort. Moreover, for the window graphic, the Sprinter’s traditional 6 light windows were used; combined with the short deck, the design was made much sportier.
The engine lineup consisted of the 1,331cc with 88 horsepower, 1,498cc with 100 horsepower, and 1,587cc with 115 horsepower gasoline engines, and the 1,974cc diesel engine with 73 horsepower.
In May 1996, with the aim to improve safety features, the ABS and driver’s seat airbags were installed in all vehicles as standard equipment. Moreover, in terms of the interior equipment options, a newly installed ignition key illuminator and other changes, such as fabric being used for the center console box material, led to greater quality and texture. As for the exterior, the metal-plated areas of the front grille were enlarged, and the emblem was colored gold, leading to an air of greater luxuriousness.
In April 1997, minor changes were implemented and alterations made to the interior and exterior designs. For the exterior, the designs of the headlights and front grille rear combination lamps were changed. For the interior, such changes as the material for the instrument panel being changed to a more luxurious kind led to a more luxurious feel. In terms of the trunk, the opening was enlarged, allowing greater usability when loading and unloading cargo. Moreover, in terms of safety features, all vehicles were installed with dual airbags and seatbelts with pretensioners and force limiters as standard equipment.
In April 1998, minor changes were made, leading to improvements to the engine and an enrichment of equipment options. The diesel engine was changed to a 2,184cc engine with 79 horsepower. Moreover, some grades were installed with water-repellent glass. In terms of safety features, passenger’s side seatbelt alarms were installed in all vehicles as standard equipment; additionally, a tire pressure monitoring system became available for more grades.
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